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Neuron. 2002 Mar 28;34(1):69-81.

Drosophila CLOCK protein is under posttranscriptional control and influences light-induced activity.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


In the Drosophila circadian clock, daily cycles in the RNA levels of dclock (dClk) are antiphase to those of period (per). We altered the timing/levels of dClk expression by generating transgenic flies whereby per circadian regulatory sequences were used to drive rhythmic transcription of dClk. The results indicate that posttranscriptional mechanisms make substantial contributions to the temporal changes in the abundance of the dCLK protein. Circadian regulation is largely unaffected in the transgenic per-dClk flies despite higher mean levels of dCLK. However, in per-dClk flies the duration of morning activity is lengthened in light-dark cycles and light pulses evoke longer lasting bouts of activity. Our findings suggest that, in addition to a role in generating circadian rhythms, dCLK modulates the direct effects of light on locomotion.

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